Safety fears mean the US comedy duo go home early...

Tenacious D

are the first major league artists to cut short a tour of Europe over safety fears caused by the start of the war on Iraq.

The comedy duo, who were in the UK last week, had been due to travel to Scandinavia to take part in television promo and instore appearances. However, they cut short their trip yesterday (March 19) as George W Bush’s 48 hour deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq approached. A spokesperson for the pair told NME.COM that they had listened to their families’ fears and returned to the US.

They are unlikely to be alone. The band’s parent label Sony are said to be “keen” to keep major stars out of harm’s way, though will leave final decisions on whether or not to venture beyond America’s borders to individual bands. American nationals are getting very jittery over the possibility of reprisal attacks from Middle Eastern extremists.

The Elektra label announced yesterday that “due to the impending war in Iraq, Elektra Records have cancelled all international touring plans” for their artist. So far, little known Blindside are the only band to bow out, thoughMissy Elliott, Fabolous and [a][/a]

are all on Elektra in the US.

The longer the war continues, the more major name tours are likely to be pulled.